Duran Duran

I’m going to the Duran Duran concert at Harvey’s Outdoor Arena in Tahoe this weekend.

The 12-year old in me is REALLY excited.

I clearly remember laying in my bed, listening to Duran Duran songs with my sister when we were still in grade school.

Which brings me to my next subject.

My sister.

She is coming with me to the concert and has arranged a really nice dinner and hotel stay for us at the MontBleu Resort, Casino and Spa.

You may recall that we’ve done this a few times before:  Elton John (where we lost our nice stadium seats and I peeped my pants a little in the back of an uber); and Sting and Peter Gabriel’s Paper, Rock, Scissors tour (where I consumed an allowable amount of alcohol and DIDN’T get lost or pee my pants on the way back to our hotel).

This concert is DOUBLY exciting though.

Stargazer will be there with a friend as well.

He was interested in going and when he heard that I had tickets to the concert, he bought a pair for him and a friend.

So HE’S going too!

Personally, I hope that Duran Duran (4 original members out of 5 are back in the band) plays a few of my favorite songs:

  • White Lines
  • Electric Barbarella
  • Ordinary World
  • Notorious
  • Rio
  • Hungry Like the Wolf
  • Girls on Film
  • Wild Boys
  • and The Reflex

I seriously CAN’T WAIT for my short work week to end and to see Duran Duran in concert WITH MY SISTER!

It’s a dream come true, 30 years in the making!

Burning Man 2018: Venturing Out

It’s a well known fact that I have a hard time seeing at night.

As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten worse.

So night time on the playa is particularly challenging for me.

You’d think with all the bright lights, navigation would be a snap.

But in reality, all the lights make it challenging for me to navigate.

And THE ONE PLACE WHERE LIGHTS ARE NEEDED – the street signs – there are NO LIGHTS!

WTF!?

So I literally have to bike up to the sign and squint at it in the dark in order to read it.

This is why I travel with friends.

It’s much easier to just follow a friend with good spatial awareness than it is to get lost for hours trying to find your way home on the playa.

Then again, not all who wander are lost.

There is something to be said for charting new territory.

Here are some night shots from my Burning Man adventure:

Temple and The Man

I finally managed to get to the man on Friday night right before it closed to visitors to prepare it for the burn the next night.

It was stunning.

Inside the structure were large wraparound movie screens playing animation which finally ended in a tribute to Larry Harvey, the recently deceased founder of Burning Man.

Here is a picture of the man during the day (not sure who to credit the photo to, so if it’s yours, lmk):

After wandering around the man for a bit, we headed over to temple.

Temple was serene and reverent and I took the time to leave my tribute for my children and my pets in the temple (see blue fabric on wooden beam, below).

The temple smelled amazing with incense burning everywhere.

Everywhere you looked there were tributes to everyone.

I felt emotional.

I’m pretty sure at some point I’m going to breakdown and have a good cry.

It’s been a good burn but so much has happened I feel like I’m behind in processing my feelings.

I may just cry when I leave the playa.

And it will be cathartic.

I was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that there was an active shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival that I attended on Sunday.

Yes, I was there.

No, I left before the shooting started.

The new guy and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the Garlic Festival Sunday afternoon.

It was a hot day.

We dashed from shade structure to shade structure and at one point I looked the new guy dead in the eye and said, “I need to sit down in the shade.”

I was getting overheated and needed to rest.

There were TONS of families there.

Little kids in strollers.

There were literally THOUSANDS of people having fun.

Everyone was having a good time.

The bands were playing.

Mid afternoon, the new guy and I got tired of the festival and left to cool off and grab a late lunch.

We knew something was wrong when his phone started ringing off the hook.

We finished our food and were hanging out at his house watching Avengers End Game.

News of the attack hadn’t reached the television yet but the new guy’s daughter had a friend who tweeted that there was an active shooter at the festival and there were injuries/fatalities.

We assured his family that we were safe and nowhere near the festival.

Then I set about calling everyone who knew I was attending the festival that day to let them know I was safe.

Which is a lot of people when you blog that you’re going to the garlic festival.

I basically had to tell all my friends and family I was safe.

Facebook made it easier for me to reach out to everyone.

And of course, I have to blog it so my readers know I’m okay.

Seeing the news coverage of the attack, seeing the same places I toured as a festival goer now become the scene of a crime was shocking.

People running through the open areas where the new guy and I had strolled just hours before.

Hug your parents.

Kiss your children.

Life is precious.

Garlic Festival

I’m going to the Garlic Festival with the new guy on Sunday.*

He used to volunteer to help organize it.

And given that I’m a lifelong advocate for volunteering, you can just go ahead and assume I’m impressed with that.

The trick of course, is figuring out what to wear.

  1. It’s gonna be hot, Hot, HOT!
  2. I want to look pretty for the new guy
  3. Did I mention it’s going to be HOT?

If you’re worried about me eating garlic all day then trying to snog the new guy, no worries.

I am sure that he will be consuming as much garlic as me, if not more.

Reminds me of the time my little sister ate two whole heads of roasted garlic at my house for Halloween one year, only to have the garlic smell come out her pores later.

That’s how powerful garlic is.

I’m also reminded of when I went to the Great Bull Run at the Alameda County Fairgrounds a few years ago to run “with” the bulls in the hot HOT HEAT.

Sweat dripped off my body and when it came time to fool around with my date, he made me take a shower at his house because I was “salty.”

I don’t want a repeat of that.

So I’m going to wear one of my sundresses with my new espadrilles.

And a WHOLE LOT OF SUNBLOCK!

 

*UPDATE:  The new guy and I were at the festival on Sunday but left before the shooting.  To read my blog post about the festival, please go to this link.

The one where she admits she took a lap dancing class

I had my first lap dancing class on Thursday.

The important thing is to start off with a glass or wine or two to loosen yourself up for the activity at hand. Which was great because I walked into the studio right as a girl was changing in to her dance outfit (black hot pants with studs and a matching triangle bikini top) in the lobby. Bam!

She then proceeded to slip on her 7 ½ inch heels. OMG….. now I know why men love heels on women. Pow!

My class started with my instructor Heather, also wearing booty pants and a tank top, telling the class the 5 Rules of Lap Dance:

  1. Arch your back
  2. Move slow
  3. Point your toes
  4. Make eye contact
  5. Touch yourself

Anyway, we warmed up on the floor with a sexy little stretching routine. Slow, always slow. Then we began to learn our lap dance in bed routine:

  • Step 1: Strut around in heels.
  • Step 2: Lean your back against the wall and spread your legs.
  • Step 3: Close your legs and melt down the wall to the floor.
  • Step 4: Crawl to the bed. Opposite knee, opposite paw.
  • Step 5: Run your fingertips, then hands, then forearms up his legs getting closer to the goods every time.
  • Step 6: Rub your chest over his chest and up to his face so he gets a good view of the kittens. Tantalize for a minute.
  • Step 7: Straddle his leg. Grind a little.

And that’s as far as we got.  Two more classes will teach me the rest.

I have to say, the whole experience was great. Once your forget yourself (wine helps) and get in to the mood, everything starts to flow.

Get in a sexy mood. Make eye contact. Touch yourself. Show off your body. It was all very enjoyable and, dare I say, pleasurable.

It did occur to me as I was taking my class how lucky I was. Men would kill to see what I was seeing.

Not only was I learning something, but I was getting quite the show!

And just for laughs and giggles, here is a picture of the man I got to give a lap dance to in bed….

photo(29)Sexy, eh?  Picture me grinding on that….

Skydiving

For her 40th birthday, my friend Michelle decided that it would be a good exercise to jump out of an airplane.  She managed to convince me and her friend Kari to join her on this venture.  And so one weekend, we all piled into Michelle’s Mini and drove down to Hollister to Skydive Hollister.

We were all so nervous about skydiving that we refused to talk about it.  Every time someone brought up the subject of what was about to happen to us, we changed the subject.

And we barely ate breakfast…. just is case it repeated on us.

So we get to Skydive Hollister and there’s bad weather so flights are delayed.  So we sit in their waiting area which reminds me a lot of a dive bar – cigarette smoke smell, pool tables, crappy couches, and lots of graffiti on the walls.  Our 10 am flight wound up being a 12 pm flight so I had plenty of time to contemplate letting a graffiti covered outfit launch me out of a plane with nothing but a kerchief strapped to my back.

In the end, they gave me the hottest guy to jump out of the plane with.  And I was most appreciative of the distraction.

Our plane took off and when we hit our elevation (10,000 ft.) I watched as first Michelle and then Kari went out the door of the plane, tandem style.  [Kari and her instructor went head first, natch.]

Then it was my turn.  I scooted on my butt toward the door, swung my legs out, and then we just fell out of the plane.

Whoosh!

It was AMAZING!

You could see everything on the ground below you, it was a beautiful view.  And it didn’t feel like you were falling, it felt like you were floating.

I was mesmerized.

Then my instructor pulled the cord and we started floating down to the ground.  I got to use the handles to steer us back and forth.  It was incredible.

I realized, had there not been a big handsome man strapped to my back paying attention to what was going on, I likely would not have opened my chute until I’d made a 10 foot hole in the earth.  That’s how mesmerized I was by the whole experience.

People ask me about it all the time – and whether or not I would do it again and the answer is….

… IN A HEARTBEAT!

Me, Kari, and Michelle – pre skydive.

Cruise Control

I have never been on a cruise.

How I managed to live 45 years of life without taking a cruise, I will never know.

But there you have it.

It could have something to do with the fact that I get sea sickness inside the cabin of a boat.

Granted, the boats I’ve been on have been fishing boats or whale watching boats in choppy water.

And so long as I stand outside, in the cold and the wet, I don’t get sick.

I’m not sure how I’d handle being indoors on a large ship.

But I’m guessing that since I get car sick, I’d also get seasick.

My birthfather and stepmother go on cruises and THEY LOVE THEM.

They even took my aunt on the last cruise they went on as a 50th birthday present.

Honestly, it sounded lovely.

Get on a cruise.

Relax.

Get fed well.

Drink your weight in booze.

Get off in ports of interest and sightsee.

Get back on the ship and wait for the next port.

Indulge in leisure activities.

Doesn’t it sound divine?

I don’t want to go on a cruise by myself but I’m thinking I may talk my birthfamily into taking a little cruise, just to see if I can handle it.

Yes, I know there’s Dramamine for the motion sickness, but one tablet of that shit and I am LIGHTS OUT.

Who’s with me?

Who wants to go on a cruise?

Boudoir Reflections

I’m a big believer that if you want to make a change, you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Wanting change means that you want something different than what you have right now. But you’ll never get anything different unless you do something different.

For me, doing something different began three months ago when a Groupon for a Boudoir Photography Session landed in my inbox.

“No bloody way,” I told myself as I instantly thought of all my body issues. Then I paused.

How I feel about my body is one of the things I want to change about myself. So in spite of my fear and self-loathing, I decided to purchase it.

As usual, I put WAY too much thought into this activity. And WAY too much money. The process of prepping for my photo shoot was long and drawn out (Part 1, Part 2, Freak Out, Boudoir 1, Boudoir 2, Boudoir 3, Boudoir 4, Boudoir 5, Boudoir 6).  But it was also a lot of fun.

I loved looking at other women’s boudoir photos.  I loved shopping for lingerie, jewelry, and shoes.  It was fun to check out hair and makeup on Pinterest.

But all the time, I kept wondering if I was going to chicken out.  Could I go through with it?  Had I not invested so much money in this activity, I might have skipped out on it.  But I was financially committed, and that was good enough for me.

I learned a lot about myself during my photo shoot.  To begin with, I was very good at asking for what I wanted.  I’d done my research, I knew what I wanted.  Even standing in a room with naught but my underwear on, I was able to tell the photographer EXACTLY what I expected.  Kudos to me.

I also discovered that it’s okay to do it your own way.  You don’t have to do it the way others do it.  When I first started researching boudoir poses on Pinterest, it seemed every woman was a size 2 wearing a thong and a push up bra with thigh-highs, sky-high hair, and heavy makeup.  That wasn’t me.  I wanted to be dressed down and ready for bed.  And that’s how I posed.  Yes, it made for a lot of nudity but I enjoyed taking it off for the camera.

Not surprisingly, I got in touch with my sexy side.  Now granted, she’s not that far away at any given time, but for my photo shoot, my inner vixen came out in full force.  I used to avoid looking at my body in the mirror, and during the photo shoot, I stared at my body in the mirror.  Definitely bodacious!  Now I’m not saying I’ve been cured of my body dysmorphia, but I can say I take it all with a grain of salt now.

My final lesson was a lesson in limits.  I learned that a self-limiting belief is only limiting until you LET IT GO.  The old story I told myself was that I don’t look good naked – my legs are too thick, my butt is too big, and my stomach is too soft.  I have constantly restricted my clothes and my activities in order to “hide” these flaws.  But there I was at my boudoir photo shoot, putting them all on display for the camera.  Suddenly, those “thick” legs felt strong and powerful.  My “big” butt looked appealing, and my “soft” stomach felt womanly.  I felt gloriously sensual, sexy, and all-woman.

THIS IS THE STORY I SHOULD BE TELLING MYSELF, NOT THE OLD STORY.

So my parting words of advice to all the ladies out there are:  Book your own boudoir session.  You won’t regret it.

And also?  If I can get naked and post pictures to the internet, then you can definitely take whatever that first step is toward changing your own story.

Sometimes there’s just a little tug on your heart

Sometimes there’s just a little tug on your heart.

Like when I got an email announcing the next Great Bull Run and I was magically transported back in time to that adrenaline-pumping, thrill-a-minute quarter mile run I made with the bulls….

…and with my friend Mark, who passed away at the age of 41 in January 2015.

Mark himself stayed up on the railing and shot this video of my cousin Jennifer and I running with the bulls:

We both struggled to keep cool in the excessive heat.  Mark wore his kerchief on his head, soaked in water and I rolled a wet one around my neck. He kept giving me money to go buy drinks and although he didn’t ride the mechanical bull himself, he had fun watching Jennifer, her brother Nick, and I ride (and fall) off the bull.  After the Great Bull Run we went to his house and he made me take two showers because I was covered in salt.  LOL  Ah, the memories.

So it’s with more than a little sadness that I think about running with the bulls again this year.  It seems there should be some good cause I can support with my activities – mental health, treatment of depression, sobriety – all worthy causes that Mark might support me supporting them.

But for now I have to sit here with this ache and realize all over again what a remarkable man the world has lost.

And that nothing will ever be the same again.